Category Archives: Giveaways

Four Cups – A Giveaway

What if God has had a plan for your life since the very beginning? Not just the beginning of your life, but from the foundations of faith itself? In Four Cups, pastor and New York Times best-selling author Chris Hodges shares an astonishing truth: The key to your spiritual fulfillment is found in four promises that God first spoke to His people in the Old Testament, and that are still at the core of his heart and his plans for you today. God wants to rescue you; to deliver you from whatever holds you back; for you to live out His plan for your life; and for you to be part of a family that is making a difference. Steeped in Jewish history and tradition, yet breathing the transforming hope of Christ on every page, Four Cups will help you move forward on your spiritual journey. You’ll understand the four stages of faith, believe the promises of God for your life . . . and discover what it means to be truly fulfilled.

I’m giving away one copy of Four Cups today. I am a bit biased since Chris Hodges is my church’s senior pastor, but it’s definitely a book worth reading. Four Cups refers to the four cups from the Jewish Seder connecting the four cups of Passover to four important aspects of Christianity: freedom, deliverance, purpose, and fulfillment.

To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment below. Open to U.S. residents only. Giveaway winner will be chosen Wednesday, July 30th.

I was not provided a copy of this book to review or giveaway.

An Artist

Edited: Congratulations, Lisa Notes! You won the giveaway! 

I stepped back. And for the first time, after four years, I felt like an artist.

Four years ago I picked up pastels and began. Learning to blend. Learning to mix colors. Learning to draw. I took along aside our son. His gift evident from a young age, we knew it needed to be nurtured.

We have an amazing art teacher. Encouraging as she teaches, allowing us to choose the medium and guiding as we experiment.

My son gravitates to pastels and sketching, seeing easily how to draw a subject. His tender heart seen as he sketches animals and his fascination with architecture shown in other subjects he chooses. His gift amazes and inspires me.

The drawing aspect of lessons was difficult for me. With our teacher alongside, I was able to sketch a few landscapes, and while the paintings I did hold meaning for me they still seemed uninspired.

But there is something about painting. Something about creating a piece whether inspired from a photo or your own imagination where a spirit can find release. So I kept trying, kept showing up at the blank canvas.

I soon found a love for acrylic and abstract. Pairing colors comes natural for me. Finally unafraid to experiment and fail, I begin. Brush against canvas. Colors blending. Layer upon layer. I push myself out of comfort trying different textures and techniques.

I begin discovering my voice.

Many paintings later I still never felt like an artist. Until this one. Inspired by a friend’s story of redemption, I wondered if I would be able to translate the image in my mind to canvas.

Colors chosen, I begin. Colors brushed then blended into one another. Background layer then another and another. It’s the layers that build perspective. Depth. I step away taking deep breaths, knowing from experience it will eventually emerge. It does. When I get to the point where I think it may be finished, I step back.

And for the first time I feel like an artist.

Four years after picking up pastels and then brushes, I felt like I had created a piece of art. The cliquish words of other artists who define art as their way and no other no longer haunting.

Too often comparison paralyzes art. We overhear others remarks and see upturned noses and we think we aren’t good enough. I know first hand how creatives are prone to insecurity, always wondering if we are good enough.

But here’s what I’m discovering: Art (or any creative pursuit) isn’t about comparing our work to that of others. No, it’s simply about growing and sharing the gifts God has given us. Comparison only steals the joy we will find when using the gifts and talents He gives.

I still have much to learn, much more to experiment with, but I am no longer afraid to call myself an artist. And through the process, God calls me to encourage others.

So this week I’m taking a step that really feels more like a leap. I’m putting my art out there with more to be added in the coming days. Would you please stop by and maybe share?

To celebrate, I am also giving away a piece here on the blog! Just leave a comment to be entered to win your choice of one of the pieces below. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only and ends Friday, May 10.

Fresh Air & Place of Freedom: A Giveaway

UPDATED: Thank you to all who entered! The winner has been drawn & contacted!


I am so excited to share today’s giveaway with you! I do not normally do many giveaways here, but the past few weeks have provided a couple of opportunities. My plan is to be back to my regular blogging tomorrow. At this point in life, sometimes the writing has to take a lower priority.

But back to the giveaway! Today I get to share with you two things that are speaking such life into my spirit right now. The first is the book Fresh Air by Pastor Chris Hodges. Pastor Chris is the founding pastor of Church of the Highlands. We attend the Auburn campus of Church of the Highlands and I love the messages we hear from Pastor Chris. They are always practical and relevant to so many aspects of life. I am sixty percent through the book and I know you will take as much away from it as I have. I have heard Pastor Chris speak about the topic he writes about in Fresh Air and his passion for this message comes through in the pages.

Another aspect we love about Highlands is the worship. We sing songs by many worship teams like Hillsong, Desperation Band, and others, but are also blessed to have some incredibly talented songwriters, musicians, and singers. Highlands Worship’s second CD Place of Freedom is available on iTunes and in stores today. I would love for you to check it out and enjoy some of the music I love singing and worshipping with each Sunday. Emmanuel and Place of Freedom are my two favorites.

I am giving away a copy of Fresh Air and a Place of Freedom CD today! The winner will receive the book and CD. All you have to do is leave a comment below to be entered. Comments will close Saturday, September 22 at midnight and I will draw a winner Saturday morning. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

I was not provided copies of the book or CD for review. I am giving away these copies purchased by me simply because I want to share.

Project Life: August 16 – 22, 2010

Welcome back to another week of my Project Life photos. Be sure to check out Jessica Turner's blog for more Project Life links on Tuesdays. Also check out the last photo's caption for a link to a music giveaway I have going on over at Alabama Bloggers.

Monday, August 16, 2010 – DH sat down pecking out keys on the piano and the little cat kept going back and forth, up and down underneath the piano hearing the sounds. It was so funny, but of course by the time I got the video camera out he was tired of the game.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 – Every few summers when we have a hot, dry summer these spider webs or whatever they are show up in the trees. It's not very pretty.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 – I spent a couple of days last week and this week helping a dear teacher friend of mine fluency test students at two of our schools.

Thursday, August 19, 2010 – I made the ultimatum. Either get some of the legos put away or else. So DH and Squirt pulled them out and tore the kits down and put each kit in its own extra large ziploc bag.

Friday, August 20, 2010 – Could it be? Can I actually see the carpet? I spent the day cleaning house which was much needed and thanks to DH and Squirt his room is clean. Now how long will it last?

Saturday, August 21, 2010 – As I was making my way back home from downtown I noticed a tree at the corner of the student parking lot had been rolled. Probably in celebration of the football team's football win the night before.

Sunday, August 22, 2010 – I didn't get a personal photo for today, but I had an afternoon session with a friend of ours who needed some updated photos for his website. I laughed so much during this session. He couldn't keep a serious face when I was taking photos of him and would burst out laughing which didn't help my camera shake at all, but we managed to get some good shots I think. At least I hope he thinks so. And I have a giveaway open to anyone in the U.S. of some of his music in a guest post over on Alabama Bloggers. Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win.

It’s not an April Fool’s Joke.

Event 09 banner 1

Check out the Scrap, Etc site. Here's the info. 🙂

No April Fool's Joke!!!
You can win a FREE space to the Event!
Five of you!
 
Yes, you read that right!
 
We are giving away FIVE spaces to the Scrap ETC event!
 
And we have FIVE ways you can win:
 
1. Post a comment on the blog.
2. Tell your friends to come and post a comment, and if they do, tell us that they referred you! Both of you will get a chance!
3. Post this contest on your blog—and post a link in the comments!
4. Post a link in the comments to anywhere else online that you have posted about this!
5. Post it on your facebook or twitter status—and let us know that you did!
 
 We will draw the names Thursday morning, April 2nd!
 
Start posting NOW!
 

For updates and registration info:
ScrapETCEvent09

If you miss anything, don't worry, you can check it out
at Scrap ETC.com